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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

T-wolf Thank Yous have returned

Keyur Joshi
THANKS THAT THRILL: English teacher Sara Katlen lights up a student’s day with a T-wolf Thank You.

The Northwood core values of compassion, mutual respect and integrity exist near students every day: they are stapled to the classroom walls, displayed on the official Northwood logo and even in the big painted circle in the middle of the gym.

However, these core values can appear even closer with T-wolf Thank Yous, which are special gratitude notes from your teachers that come straight to your mailbox or email, that have made a raging resurgence this past school year.

T-wolf Thank Yous are appreciative notes from Northwood staff sent to students and their guardians acknowledging behaviors that uplift Northwood core values. Led by Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports coach Margie Gutierrez, teachers, admin and staff have sent out a total of 2,128 individual letters this school year. This system began as a positive reinforcement and serves as a reminder that the students are being acknowledged for following Northwood core values.

“If people are truly practicing behaviors that reflect our core values, it will create a welcoming environment for students, staff and visitors on our campus,” assistant principal Christina Banagas-Engelerdt said. “Teachers and students working together to promote our core values, and T-wolf Thank Yous are simply acknowledging uplifting behaviors around school.”

Although T-wolf Thank Yous initially began in 2010 as postcards, admin opened up online nomination forms in October 2021 to encourage teacher participation by sending these notes through emails, which were found to be more reliable than physical postcards that were often lost or delayed through mail, according to assistant principal Kortney Tambara.

T-wolf Thank Yous are Northwood’s administrative effort to recognize respectable behavior in students, similar to a reward system such as the Charger Cards at Sierra Vista or WINGS at Jeffrey Trail, but with personalized messages from Northwood staff members.

“Receiving a T-wolf thank you honestly makes my day because I feel appreciated and recognized by my teachers,” junior Hannah Cho said. “Getting a note even for the small things like raising my hand to answer a question or share my thoughts encourages me to continue being an active participant.”

Northwood staff and teachers can submit T-wolf Thank Yous on a rolling basis throughout the week. According to Gutierrez, these notes can reflect various aspects of the student’s contributions such as their character, achievements or acts of valor.

“I find myself to be more cognizant of good behaviors rather than focusing on what I need to get through,” history teacher Greg Guy said. “Acknowledging the positives opens up deeper connections with the students.”

Northwood staff encourages students to always be on their best behavior and to be reflective of the Northwood core values on campus. This can start with small acts of respect like keeping the bathrooms clean or cleaning up after themselves at lunch.

“The whole reason why we do T-wolf Thank Yous is to make it clear to students what following the core values look like,” Tambara said.“While teachers may not be able to see every aspect of student life on campus, it’s important to recognize the good parts when we do see it.”

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About the Contributors
Anna Cho
Anna Cho, News Editor
Anna is the News Editor for Northwood High School. If she doesn't respond to you within four hours, she's probably just busy testing out the perfect avocado:salt ratio to replicate Chipotle's divine guacamole recipe.
Keyur Joshi
Keyur Joshi, Photographer
Keyur Joshi is a junior, photographer, and business team member for The Northwood Howler. Keyur is a fan of 80s and light rap music, and he often listens to music while working or when he has free time. One of Keyur's hobbies is competing in competitive robotics.

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